Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Avoiding an ambulance can be tragic

Too often, people wind up at a hospital too late for the best stroke treatment. Another story made the rounds, this time how a third of stroke victims delay action by avoiding ambulance:
When patients were taken by ambulance, 79 percent of them got to the hospital within two hours after they first started to notice symptoms. That’s crucial, said Wallace, who has specialized in stroke treatment since the mid-1990s. The most common form of stroke can be treated in most cases with a clot-busting drug. But it must be injected within a maximum of 4½ hours from the onset of symptoms, and it’s better if injected within three hours, she said.
“That means a person has to have symptoms, recognize it, get into the hospital, be seen by us, get a CAT scan of the brain, IV started and a decision made, all within 180 minutes,” Wallace said."
Look tomorrow for another - very personal - story showing the importance of getting to help in time.

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